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Liverpool enter this game on the back of a meek exit from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid and they now have an almighty fight on their hands if they want to play in the competition next season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were handed a major boost when West Ham unexpected slipped up away to Newcastle on Saturday and a win at Elland Road will momentarily lift them into the top four.
Monday 20:00 – Leeds v Liverpool
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
However, that is easier said than done. Leeds have won three games on the bounce, including that memorable win over Manchester City last weekend, and they will hope to exploit any Champions League hangover that Liverpool may be carrying.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have drawn all three home games against the traditional big six so far this season and are more than capable of holding Liverpool on Monday. Klopp’s charges have actually won their last three Premier League away games without conceding a goal, but The Whites represent a sterner challenge than Arsenal, Wolves or Sheffield United.
It’s hard to back against the Both Teams To Score market whenever Leeds play. Their open style inevitably leads to high-scoring games and they have been involved in 16 games where both teams have found the back of the net in the league this season.
Each of their last three fixtures have ended in 2-1 victories for Bielsa’s side and it’s hard to see Liverpool’s makeshift defence keeping them out on Monday night. On the other hand, it’s hard to see Leeds’ somewhat unreliable back four keeping out a Liverpool attack featuring Mohamed Salah and an in-form Diogo Jota.
Leeds have conceded the most goals in the top half by a considerable distance and only five clubs have conceded more goals than them this season. It may not end up in a seven-goal thriller like the meeting between these two sides at Anfield on the opening day of the season, but the return fixture is almost certain to produce goals aplenty.
Jota’s absence during the middle of the season was more of a blow than most people would have anticipated. The Portuguese forward was quickly emerging as Liverpool’s leading number nine when injury stopped him in his tracks.
However, he has hit the ground running since his return against Wolves prior to the international break, scoring three goals in two Premier League away games. He also scored three times in two away games while away on international duty with Portugal.
With Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane badly out of form, Jota is certain to start at Elland Road on Monday and he can extend his excellent run of goalscoring form in away fixtures for club and country.
Salah will be keen to get his name on the scoresheet on Monday in a bid to keep pace with Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot after the Tottenham striker moved two clear at the top of the charts with a brace against Everton.
The Egyptian forward will get plenty of opportunities to chip away at Kane’s lead on Monday considering he is coming up against a Leeds defence that offers countless goalscoring chances. Marcelo Bielsa’s men have faced a whopping 208 shots in 11 games against the Big Six and Leicester this season at an average of almost 19 per game.
Salah, who takes an average of more than three shots per game in the league, will be rubbing his hands together at the thoughts of coming up against such a charitable defence. The Egyptian averages 1.5 shots on target per game, but you can expect that to increase against a side that faces more shots than most other clubs.
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